Terry Perkins

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

Don Wolff
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Don Wolff, a noted defense attorney and long-time jazz enthusiast died Friday, Nov. 20, of leukemia at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  On Oct. 2, 2012, Terry Perkins wrote a profile of Mr. Wolff for the St. Louis Beacon, talking to him about his signature phrase: “I’m Don Wolff … and I love jazz” and where it came from. Wolff talks about jazz, when he was awarded the Jazz Hero Award in April 2015.

Peter Martin
Jimmy and Dena Katz

Pianist Peter Martin has a busy week of rehearsals and performances here in St. Louis this week. The University City resident will kick off the annual Whitaker Music Festival Wednesday evening, June 4, then follow that with a concert at the Kranzberg Arts Center Thursday evening, when he and his trio perform with vocalist Vivian Sessoms.

In this 2011 photo taken in Harlem, Maya Angelou is seated and Eugene Redmond is at her right.
Ros Crenshaw

The passing on Wednesday, May 28, of world-renowned poet, novelist and activist Maya Angelou has been a major news and social media topic.

Here in the St. Louis area, where Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, as Marguerite Johnson before moving away to Stamps, Ark., at an early age, she leaves behind her “brother in spirit,” East St. Louis-born poet and scholar, Eugene Redmond.

Carl Socolow | Alarm will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, the 20-member contemporary chamber music ensemble that has gained worldwide acclaim since its debut in 2001, has become a fixture in St. Louis since October 2012 – presenting an annual concert series at venues such as the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Pageant and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The 442s: Shawn Weil, Adam Maness, Bjorn Ranheim and Syd Rodway
Sandra Calvo

For the four musicians who make up the 442s, Duke Ellington’s words (right) resonate. Of the quartet of musicians who make up the group, two — violinist Shawn Weil and cellist Bjorn Ranheim — are members of the St. Louis Symphony. The other two — pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Maness and bassist Syd Rodway — are known for their work with vocalist Erin Bode. Maness and Rodway also have strong jazz backgrounds.

Jim Widner with bass
Dawn DeBlaze

Updated Friday, April 25, 2014 to include audio from Cityscape.

On April 17, 2004, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival debuted on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

MADCO dancers rehearsing Liquid Roads
Steve Truesdell

The Whitaker Rehearsal Hall at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri St. Louis campus was filled last week with a sense of anticipation, excitement -- and a healthy dose of underlying tension.

Dancers from the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) stretched and warmed up as choreographer Gina Patterson, MADCO Executive Director Stacy West, members of the production team, musicians for the performance and invited members of the media waited for the first complete run through of the company’s production of “Liquid Roads.”

Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, a 20-member ensemble, critically acclaimed for its performances of new music by emerging composers since its debut in 2001, has played all around the world and released six recordings over that time.

Since October 2012, Alarm Will Sound has built a strong presence in St. Louis with an annual concert series. The 2012-13 concerts took place at the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Maureen Byrne

After the devastating war that ravaged Bosnia and Herzegovina from early 1992 through 1995, refugees began arriving in the St. Louis area. And now the Bosnian population here has grown to more than 60,000, making it the largest Bosnian community outside of that country.

This Wednesday evening, the St. Louis Symphony will present a free concert in its “On Stage at Powell” Chamber Concert Series called “Bosnian Journeys: Generations.”

Provided by Modern STL

The potential of a merger between the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County has prompted lots of talk about differences and similarities between the two.

Here’s just one example. Both have public library systems. Each has a very different philosophy when it comes to balancing upgrades and improvements of their buildings with historic preservation.

Connie Fairchild
Provided by The Presenters Dolan

The format for the Songbird Café series — placing four singer-songwriters in the round and having them sing songs in turn — was made famous by the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tenn.

The approach has worked well here over the three years that Steve St. Cyr has presented the Songbird Café series at Focal Point in Maplewood and occasionally at UMSL at Grand Center.

Richard Baker
Provided by Richard Baker

Richard Baker, president of Fox Associates since 2001 and a member of the Fox Theatre staff in a variety of capacities since 1986, is leaving to become president and CEO of the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on March 17.

Earlier this week, Baker sat down for a lengthy interview that looked back on his eventful 27-plus years at the Fox, the evolution of Grand Center during that time, and an unpredictable career path that took a young boy who loved theater and Broadway from dreams of becoming a doctor, to a degree in accounting, and then full circle to the Fox.

Terence Blanchard
Provided by Mr. Blanchard

When the Sheldon Concert Hall asked Terence Blanchard to replace Latin jazz pianist Chucho Valdés for a scheduled performance this Saturday, Feb. 15, the jazz trumpeter jumped at the opportunity.

“I was sorry to hear about Chucho’s unexpected surgery that forced him to cancel his tour,” Blanchard said during a recent conversation from his home in the New Orleans area. “But I’m very happy to be coming back to St. Louis. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the past three years. My wife is starting to think of it as our second home.”

Richard McDonnell

Word spread quickly on social media this past weekend: Richard McDonnell, founder and president of the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ recording label, had died.

One of the first tributes posted -- by Dean Minderman, editor of the respected music blog “St. Louis Jazz Notes” -- was put up to replace rumor with facts. Yes, McDonnell had suffered a stoke while attending a concert Feb. 7 at Jazz at the Bistro. He died the next day.

Sandy Weltman
Returning Artist program

Sandy Weltman stands in the center of a semi-circle of chairs in the music room at Jackson Park Elementary School in University City. Fourth grade students wait expectantly to see exactly what this tall, lanky man might have in store for them.

Weltman asks the students to guess what instrument he’s going to play. Guesses range from a violin to a keyboard to a trumpet, and through a series of clues, Weltman gets one boy to correctly say the harmonica.

photo of David Robertson, Stephanie Berg and Jeanne Sinquefield
Courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony

Composer and musician Stephanie Berg will achieve a rare distinction when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs her composition, “Ravish and Mayhem” at Powell Hall performances on Jan. 10 and 11. Berg, who is in her 20s, appears to be the youngest composer from St. Louis to have a work played by the SLSO during its subscription series.

photo of George Sams
Provided by Mr. Sams

This past February, George Sams, owner of the Metropolitan Gallery, decided to close the space at 2943 Locust St. Sams had mounted art exhibitions there since taking it over in 2005 and also presented regular concerts as part of his Nu-Art Performance Series.

Musicians included Hamiet Bluiett and Oliver Lake -- natives of the St. Louis area who went on to international acclaim as members of the World Saxophone Quartet – as well as famed pianist Andrew Hill and trumpeter Eddie Henderson.

300 Tommy Halloran
Provided by Halloran

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Tommy Halloran is celebrating an anniversary this Wednesday, Dec. 4. And appropriately enough for singer/guitarist/ songwriter Halloran, this particular anniversary is all about his musical history – and is being celebrated with a concert.

Halloran will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first musical performance in a club, which took place on Dec. 4, 1993, at the now defunct Bastille’s, a West County club that hosted a performance by Halloran’s’ first band, GraHm.

Clark Terry still played his horn upside down in the late 1980s.
From his autobiography

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - In his 2006 book, “City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973,” Dennis Owsley explains the title and the theme of his book in the opening sentence of his introduction: “Trumpet players have shaped the sound and the direction of St. Louis jazz from the beginning.”

Montez Coleman and Tony Suggs have stayed connected since they both started playing in Lincoln High’s jazz program in East St. Louis.
Terry Perkins | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Drummer Montez Coleman and pianist Tony Suggs first met in fall, 1988, when both were members of the East St. Louis Lincoln High School Jazz Band.

Twenty-five years later, Coleman and Suggs have carved out successful careers as professional jazz musicians. And even though Suggs makes his home half a world away in Japan, the two remain close friends – and continue to pursue opportunities to play jazz together.

Jim Manley 2013
Devin Rodino

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Usually when a musician releases a new recording and schedules performances at a major area venue the following week, audiences can expect to hear a heavy dose of songs from the new CD played at those live concerts.

Provided Dwayne (left) and Dwight Bosman

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: At the age of 60, Dwight and Dwayne Bosman, known professionally as the Bosman Twins, continue to do what they’ve been doing since the age of 14 – play music together.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The big band era may have peaked in the decades of the 1930s and ‘40s, but don’t tell that to the musicians who make up the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra. They are committed to keeping big band music alive and vital in the St. Louis area.

That commitment was put to the test just last year. From 1969 until right before the fall semester started in 2012, the group was the Meramec Lab Jazz Band. Suddenly, funding was cut and the musicians regrouped.

Group photo of Alarm will Sound
Carl Socolow | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Alarm Will Sound, an acclaimed music ensemble best known for performances of cutting edge music by contemporary composers, will take a glance in the rear view mirror for the group’s Sheldon Concert Hall performance Oct. 9.

Marty Ehrlich
Beacon archives | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Marty Ehrlich was attending University City High School in the early 1970s, he played saxophone after moving to that instrument from clarinet in junior high. More than 40 years after his high school graduation in 1972, Ehrlich is still playing sax, clarinet and a variety of other woodwind instruments – earning critical acclaim for his work.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Jazz and the St. Louis Symphony haven’t been strangers. So when Maureen Byrne, Community Programs manager at the St. Louis Symphony, received a phone call from Phil Dunlap, Jazz St. Louis’ director of education, about collaborating with The Bad Plus to perform works by Igor Stravinsky, it wasn’t unusual. Classical music and jazz can and do co-exist quite nicely here.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Bad Plus has been making waves in the jazz world for the past decade with a mix of inventive original material and inventive reworkings of rock and pop songs. Want something different? The trio has played Nirvana (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”), Black Sabbath (“Iron Man’), Blondie (“Heart of Glass”), Tears for Fears (“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) and Burt Bacharach (“This Guy’s in Love with You”).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Fall weekends in the St. Louis area are filled with an array of festivals and events, and this coming weekend is no exception. Taste of St. Louis downtown will draw most of the media coverage, but another major three-day festival will take place Sept. 27 through Sept. 29 at several locations in the Grand Center area – ranging from the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Grandel Theater, and Urban Chestnut, Strauss Park and the KDHX Folk School on Washington Avenue.

Kim Massie
Provided by Ms. Massie

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sunday evening some of the best musicians in St. Louis will gather to help one of their own. Kim Massie's story is one of never giving up your dreams, even now when illness strikes. More on that later. First, there's her story to tell.

Until 1999, Kim Massie thought of St. Louis as the place she came from – not her home.

Eliza Doolittle (Pamela Brumley) and Henry Higgins (Christopher Guilmet)
Provided by Stages

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Last Friday morning at the Kent Center for the Performing Arts, the cast, crew and artistic staff of the upcoming Stages St. Louis production of “My Fair Lady” gradually arrived and readied themselves for a last rehearsal there. After the weekend, the cast moved to the Reim Theater in Kirkwood for final tech and dress rehearsals before the musical opens on Sept. 6.